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Planting and gardening with children

There are many learning benefits of introducing plants and gardening to your child, and you can do it indoors or outdoors depending on the space you have.

planting - child

The benefits of gardening with your child:

The conversations you have and new words you introduce will support your child’s language and communication skills.

  • Your child will begin to learn about life cycles and where food comes from.
  • Your child will develop a sense of responsibility as they care for their plants.
  • Digging, filling pots and handling seeds or seedlings will support muscle development and coordination.
  • Being outdoors and/or around green plants has a positive impact on mental health.
  • You will be supporting your child to develop a love of nature.

What could you plant?

  • Quick sprouting seeds can be a good place to start so that children don't have to wait long to see their plants grow. For example, cress, salad leaves, or sunflowers.
  • Herbs such as basil and mint are also quick to grow and can be grown on a windowsill indoors, outdoors in a pot, or in the ground.
  • Vegetables and fruits take longer to grow but will be exciting to harvest and eat! You could try tomatoes, strawberries, peas, potatoes, or carrots.
  • Plant summer flowering plants such as pansies from seed or plant bulbs in the autumn and wait for them to grow in the spring.

toddler and watering can

Top tips!

  • Share seeds with a friend or family member, you won’t need a whole packet.
  • Recycle plastic food trays and plastic bottles to create mini greenhouses on your windowsill.
  • Look for vegetable and flower seedlings for sale at the supermarket in the spring and summer.
  • Let your child help as much as possible, they will feel a real sense of pride when their plants begin to grow.
  • Talk about the instructions as you read them, this will help your child understand the purpose of reading.
  • Make a label together for your plants. Your child can see you writing, and maybe have a go themselves, or make a picture label.
  • Your child will love watering their plants, and it’s great for developing their coordination. Use a small bottle or jug if you don’t have a watering can.